MTSU’s Memphis, Jackson recruiting tour reveals po...

MTSU’s Memphis, Jackson recruiting tour reveals potential vet, doctor [+VIDEOS]

JACKSON and MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jabin Coleman’s career ambition is to be a cardiologist. The Jackson resident and Madison Academic High School senior plans to begin that quest next fall at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, where there’s already a family history of higher education success.

Coleman, 17, has an outstanding academic work ethic. He has a 3.75 GPA and 25 ACT. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee introduced Coleman to the large crowd attending the True Blue Tour Wednesday (Nov. 7) at the Jackson Country Club as a Presidential Scholarship recipient, thus easing the financial burden for him and his family.

Jackson marked the 14thand final stop on the recruiting tour for 2018. Taking the university on the road throughout Tennessee, MTSU also visits, Atlanta, Georgia, Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama, and Louisville and Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Sidney A. McPhee and Jabin Coleman

Madison Academic High School senior Jabin Coleman, right, holds a large check for $18,000 for the Presidential Scholarship he and others will receive that was announced by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee Nov. 7 during the True Blue Tour visit at the Jackson Country Club. Students with a 25 to 29 ACT, 3.5 or higher GPA and apply by Dec. 1 will qualify. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

“I feel beyond blessed and it was a very humbling experience,” said Coleman, who attended with his mother, Dr. Vickey Coleman, and his girlfriend, Annah May, 18, of Jackson and a Madison Academic senior who also is looking at attending MTSU.

Jabin Coleman used to play sports and still enjoys watching basketball and football on television. “I gave up sports to focus on grades,” he said, adding he plans to go the pre-med route before attending medical school.

His father, Larry Coleman, brother Tevin Coleman and two cousins graduated from MTSU.

Presidential Scholarship recipients must have a 3.5 or higher GPA, 25 to 29 ACT and apply by Dec. 1. The award is for $4,500 per year and $18,000 for four years. Jabin Coleman’s name also was drawn by McPhee in a blind drawing for a $1,500 scholarship.

McPhee closed the session with a $5,000 scholarship, but gave two when freshman Macy Reddit’s name was drawn. He then drew the name of senior Jocelyn Brooks of Haywood High School in Brownsville. The president said MTSU would hold the scholarship for Reddix.

Veterans heading to MTSU

MTSU’s biology, history and fermentation science programs and the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center are a major reason U.S. Navy veterans Kate Duvall, 28, and fiancée David Sarmire, 32, of Milan, Tennessee, plan to transfer from Jackson State Community College after earning associate degrees.

“The MTSU veterans program is one of the best in the state, which is exciting,” Duvall said, adding on a visit “MTSU reminded me of a military base because everything is on campus.”

Micaiah Goff, left, a North Side High School senior and her father Demecus Jeffries of Jackson, Tenn., listen as Angela Gist-Dowlen with the MTSU Office of Student Success.

Micaiah Goff, left, a North Side High School senior and her father Demecus Jeffries of Jackson, Tenn., listen as Angela Gist-Dowlen with the MTSU Office of Student Success explains about the Scholars Academy offerings Nov. 7 during the MTSU True Blue Tour visit at the Jackson Country Club. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Murfreesboro presence

McPhee learned good friends Hunter Ramsey, and Joseph Cochran, both 18, and respective Siegel High and Central Magnet seniors, drove from Murfreesboro to attend the Jackson event. McPhee awarded them certificates for iPads. They were unable to attend earlier tour events in Murfreesboro, Franklin or Nashville.

Dyersburg State connection

During a quick trip to Dyersburg Wednesday morning to sign an MTSU Promise transfer agreement, McPhee and Dyersburg State President Karen A. Bowyer visited with current student Christie Badger of Tiptonville, who is considering transferring to MTSU to study accounting.

Memphis merriment

In this approaching season of giving, the president once again demonstrated an extremely generous spirit at Esplande Memphis in Cordova — awarding $17,500 in scholarships to students and $9,500 to counselors and community college staff to personally award to deserving students during a noontime luncheon.

This did not include the announced Presidential Scholarship recipient Kyndall Smith, 17, a Ridgeway High senior with a weighted 4.3 GPA and 26 ACT and softball and volleyball player for the Roadrunners.

Smith is considering pre-vet, biochemistry or biology. She has applied and received her acceptance letter from MTSU and seven other institutions “that’s going to make me think harder about my decision,” she said.

Sidney A. McPhee and Ridgeway High senior Kyndall Smith.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, informs Ridgeway High School senior Kyndall Smith and the audience that she and others who qualify will receive a Presidential Scholars in 2018, guaranteeing $4,500 per and $18,000 for four years. It was part of the MTSU True Blue Tour to recruit students in the Memphis area Nov. 6 at Esplande Memphis in Cordova, Tenn. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Surrounded by mother and father Crystal and Daryl Quarles, John David Quarrels accepted McPhee’s $5,000 “very last scholarship” in Memphis. Quarles, 17, a Houston High School senior, wants to study nursing.

“That’s amazing,” Quarles said of the scholarship. “This is great. I’m happy.”

Kymia Kendrick was awarded a Phillips Bookstore gift certificate. When McPhee quizzed her — learning she is a Houston (Cordova) High School freshman (Class of 2022) — he presented a $4,000 scholarship the university will hold through her senior year.

— Randy.Weiler (

A portion of the crowd in Memphis for the MTSU True Blue Tour.

Part of the crowd of prospective students and their parents attending the MTSU True Blue Tour at Esplande Memphis in Cordova, Tenn., Nov. 6 appears to enoy learning about scholarships and many other opportunities the Murfreesboro university offers. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)